Strategic development of Prebold


Location:  Prebold, SI
Category: Public programs
Area: 2.500 m2
Year: 2021
Client: Občina Prebold
Status: Concept
Tjaša Plavec, m.i.a.
Matic Mohar, m.i.a.
Sanja Djurdjević, d.i.a.u.
Katja Orehek, štud. arh.


The purpose of the project, commissioned by the municipality of Prebold, was to study the existing structure of the morphology of the settlement and the program, identify its strengths and weaknesses and show solutions for better operation and development of the municipality. The aim of the project was to create strategic proposals for the development of the Prebold settlement.

The municipality lies on the southern edge of the Lower Savinja Valley and consists of eight smaller settlements, which together represent approximately 5,100 inhabitants and measure about 41 km2.

Two-thirds of the municipality are green, unspoiled forest areas, through which it is also possible to climb nearby peaks: Tolsti vrh, Reška planina, and Mazlica. The northern part of the municipality is limited by the regional road Ljubljana – Celje. The center and seat of the municipality is the settlement of Prebold. The first settlements date back to the Middle Ages when the original settlement developed under Liebenstein Castle, which later fell into disrepair. Its place was replaced during the Renaissance by the Prebold manor, which still stands today. The first developments and progress in the settlement began to show during the period of industrialization in the 19th century when the textile industry was established in 1842. Today, the settlement of Prebold represents approximately 1,700 inhabitants and measures 2.2 km2.

In determining the strategic development in the area of ​​influence, we took into account the physical characteristics of land, location, infrastructure, and socio-economic conditions, thus developing a development strategy with an emphasis on developing functional solutions adapted to the current demographic picture of Prebold municipality.

Due to poor infrastructure and a lack of opportunities for innovative approaches to raising the quality of life in later years, the Slovenian countryside is rather underfunded. Despite the fact that there is a home for the elderly, an intergenerational center, and the Prebold Health Center in the Prebold settlement, the infrastructure adapted to the elderly and disabled is over. Secure and reliable connections, together with the diversity of programs, strongly promote independence and give older people a sense of freedom and dignity.

 In response to the poor demographic picture and the consequent aging of the entire municipality of Prebold, we propose to solve the systemic problem by adapting the environment to the elderly, increasing and improving the already offered program for the elderly, and adding interesting and attractive activities to improve quality of life.

Tourism has become the fastest growing industry in the last 60 years, generating almost 10% of world GDP and employing hundreds of millions of people. The Slovenian Tourist Board predicts an increase in international visits at a rate of 3.8% this year, which would reach a record 1,800 million in 2030. Tourism is crucial to ensure the long-term and sustainable development of the area. The main motives for travel are holidays, recreation, and various forms of post-holiday activities. In recent years, however, shorter weekends have intensified, especially in urban tourism. Slovenia lacks investments in important degraded and potential areas, such as sustainable investment in new, high-quality accommodation and tourist infrastructure. The Municipality of Prebold lacks mainly accommodation facilities and a program/products that would convince tourists to stay. The municipality of Prebold also has poor visibility in the domestic and international space and a poor supply of jobs to the local population.

A large proportion of tourists are over the age of 60, which is expected to cover more than 20% of the world’s population in 2050. Attractive offers for this age group are mainly tailored tourism products and services based on health, relaxation, and simpler activities. In addition to the older generation, a large proportion of tourists are millennials, who are expected to cover 50% of all passengers by 2025. Among the most common reasons for this generation to travel are: exploration, interaction, and emotional experience.

The more important strategic needs are thus; greater accommodation capacity, expansion of recreational areas and provision of recreational facilities, sustainable approaches to creating tourist offers, nature conservation, sustainable construction and green programs, modernization of the city with the inclusion of modern technology to provide a better tourist experience, and greater hospitality.

The proposal of urban planning is related to the increase and creation of higher quality outdoor public areas, which dictate the formation of public life.

The entrance to Prebold, which crosses the river Bolska, delays the promenade/market, which is also located directly above the river and acts as a multipurpose space that brings Prebold closer to the river. The first view on arrival thus becomes more pleasant and emphasizes the identity of Prebold. The selection of pentagons is based on the existing urban elements that appear within the settlement and address the rich history of beekeeping in the municipality.

On the slope below the mansion, smaller tourist accommodations are envisaged, following the broader design language of the strategy. Despite the density of buildings, each of the accommodations has the option of a more intimate outdoor space inside the atriums. Thus, the tourist resort allows for a more relaxed stay, while the common platform that connects the facilities allows the possibility of a more public nature of the resort, in the form of joint activities.

The municipal facility is located in a new location, closer to the existing primary school and kindergarten. It is more restrained, with an open ground floor, which enables the communication between the internal public program and the accompanying platform intended for citizens. This is again made up of pentagons, which, by raising and lowering, allow the integration of urban furniture into the geometry of the pressure. Thus, benches, scaffolding, and tree plantings become part of the platform.

With the introduction of new architectural interventions proposed in the Strategic Development, the visit to the municipality of Prebold becomes an interactive experience with an emphasis on the coexistence of the third generation and active tourism.

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